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Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. The latest news from inside the Beltway. New.

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  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret Baier. The  
   latest news from inside the Beltway. New.  

    August 13, 2009
    6:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

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i will be there to make sure the rest of the country sees it. from new york, good night america. [captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute ---www.ncicap.org--- bret: next on "special report" new poll numbers indicate that the president is losing the healthcare battle and his popularity is suffering as a result. we will look at those numbers and again check him on some of his facts. trying to get to the facts about white house e-mails testye between the press secretary and our own major garrett. we'll update the marino fencive -- the marine offensive in afghanistan and we have news about former presidential candidate john edwards, all that and sarah palin responds to the president directly, and "special report" starts right now. welcome to washington. i'm bret baier. president obama is lying low today, taking a day off from his increasingly pitched
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battle to get healthcare reform on the books, but as the white house searches for a message that will stop the negative moment momentum, new poll numbers numbers indicate tt fewer americans than ever are buying what the president is selling. couldcorrespondent shannon bream takes a look. >> he was adored by crowds on the campaign trail, but the reality of trying to push through a major overhaul of the u.s. healthcare system has crowds of a different kind showing up to voice their opinions on president obama and his healthcare reform plans. >> that's really a big problem for a president who is persuasive, but suddenly half the country says i just don't trust him. >> for decades, the healthcare reform message has been altruistic -- coverage for all, but polling shows 91% of americans have health insurance and 84% of them rate it as good or excellent, not the most receptive audience when you're trying to sell remaking the american
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healthcare system as we know it. >> healthcare is as deeply personal and powerful of an issue as you're going to get. if you can't tell the american people, many of whom have insurance, exactly what's in it for them, that they're going to get taken care of first, that they're going to get security and stability out of this, then you can't actually generate the political will to cover the uninsured. >> brand new polling numbers quantify the growing skepticism over proposals being floated by the president and fellow democrats on capitol hill. rasmussen reports has been tracking public support since june, finding a steady drop to today's equal time low of just 42% of americans in favor of the plan. the number is even lower on the fox news dynamics plan today. 34% fay sore it, down from 36 p% in july. 49 p% say they oppose it, up from 47% he three weeks ago. the white house says there is
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too much emphasis on the numbers. >> the debate continues and we'll see whether numbers move or change as a result of the continuing debate. >> the problem is the message from ordinary americans is this is too much, too expensive, too intrusive. you're trying to do too much, too fast, too quick and i have a sense after you misled me on the stimulus and after you misled me on the other problems that i'm going to be misled on. this >> the president's top pollster revealed some internal strategy when he spoke before the economic club of canada earlier this summer, noting that research told the white house that people hate insurance companies. the p message does not appear to be resonating with the american public either. bret. bret: shannon, thank you. the healthcare reform battle is being waged on one playing field that could ultimately affect how much you play for vital medication.
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there are high stakes negotiations over drug patents president obama is in the billion dollar dispute over how much profits can be deriveed from biologics. medicines that require years and millions to develop. >> i want to speed up generics getting introduced to the marketplace. right now, the drug companies are fighting so they can keep essentially their patents on their brand name drugs a lot longer. >> it sounds like the president is talking about drugs made from chemicals such as lipitor an prozac and their generic equivalents, but that is settled. drug companies can keep those patents for five years. the one side that mr. obama is losing is data excluesist, in essence, how long drug companies can keep from their competitors information about tough to replicate biologics made from proteins derived
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from plants or animal tissue. mr. obama's budget calls for 7 years of data exclusivity. >> if we can make those patents a little bit shorter, generics get on the market sooner and ultimately you as consumers can save money. >> the drug manufacturers said no exclusivity should be mandated and they want 12 years. the aarp backs the white house. >> they would have exclusivity, a guaranteed monopoly for 12 years. we think that's excessive. we think consumers should be able to buy lower-priced drugs. these are life-saving drugs today. they can cost people up to $10,000. >> drug companies say exclusivity is key to the development. >> companies need the money to
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develop a drug. on average it is $1.2 billion that the company spends to get a biologic on the market and that is well before building a facility to manufacture the biologic that runs from a quarter billion to a half billion to get on the market. >> democratic senator edward kennedy whom president obama often invokes in the healthcare debate opposes him on this issue. he voted by proxy with the health panel to provide 12 years of ex collusive ti on biologics and before the house recess, the pharmaceutical panel wanted the same thing. bret: major, huh quite an exchange -- major, you had quite an exchange over the e-mail list with e-mails going to people seemingly going to the white house.
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>> there are people getting e-mails and want to know how you got their addresses. do you have data bases or information about people? >> i will certainly check it. i'm not under that impression. i want to know how they got an e-mail from the white house and never asked for one. >> i'm interested to see whether or not they really got an e-mail and whether they are on the list. >> i'm just asking, do you have a list? >> you're asking me if they are on a list. >> they're telling me -- no, no. they never asked for an e-mail from the white house. >> what i'm saying is i don't -- i'd have to look and see. >> do you have an explanation for how someone who never signed up and never asked for anything from the white house got an e-mail? >> to answer it, you might impugn the motives of the
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answer. >> why do you say that? >> because of the way you phrase your follow-up. >> i have to look at what you got, major. i appreciate the fact that i have omnipotent clarity as to what you have received in your e-mail box today. bret: did you show them the e-mails? >> well, we are having at this moment, bret, a non-constructive dialogue about the e-mails. i have received permission from several people that contacted me that i can provide the e-mails to the white house at this moment. i certainly hope it changes. mr. gibbs expressed not nearly as much interest as he did in the briefing as he did at looking at those e-mails. bret: the question is whether someone who hasn't engaged with the white house how they got this e-mail from david axelrod on healthcare issues? >> right. i have received a lot of e-mails since that, and some people say i forwarded those e-mails to friends. clearly that is legitimate. many people say they came directly to them, were not forwarded by friends or
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non-friends and are curious if by just accessing the white house website, some people said they did that, did that put them on an e-mail distribution list. some people said they don't want to be on an e-mail distribution list. i'm trying to find out how these people got them. as of yet, we're in a bit of a stalemate. bret: we will continue to follow that. more news from the fox news opinions dynamics poll where participants are critical of the white house request that it calls fishy information on healthcare reform be reported. 57% think that is inappropriate. just 36% disagree. 49% of respondents also want to see less of the president on t.v. 25% want more. the president's approval rate something down to 53% in this poll, off one point from last month. even the house of representatives' website is feeling the effects of the huge public outcry over healthcare reform. technicians warning lawmakers that the main site, www.house.gov may become slow or unresponsive because of a
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huge volume of emplets mail traffic. former republican vice presidential nominee sarah palin said president obama is misleading the public about what she has called death panels in healthcare reform. palin contends advanced care planning consultations, which are ran element in the house reform legislation would not be voluntary, as the president says. she lays out a detailed rebuttal on hers facebook page. the white house has named palin as a person spreading wrong information about reform plans. wednesday, we told you about some misstatements from the president concerning the aarp and healthcare reform. white house correspondent wendell goler is here to talk about more add sen tours in fact checking. good evening, wendell. >> good evening, bret. in portsmouth, new hampshire, the president said one reason healthcare costs are so high is that the system doesn't reward preventive care, for example, by paying doctors enough to counsel diabetics to lose weight and make sure they're taking their medications in a timely
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fashion. >> they might get reimbursed a pittance >> but if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that's $30,000, $40,000, $50,000. immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. >> the a.m.a. says doctors don't benefit that much. medicare's reimbursement for an amputation, $750 to $1,500. it says the entire cost of the amputation, including hospitalization, and these ya and other fees could come to $30,000, bret. bret: what about the president's promise that healthcare reforms won't add to the budget deficit. >> it is extremely difficult to project the cost of government programs out over a long period of time. medicare, for example, 25 years after congress created it, was costing ten times the original projection. administration officials say we will simply have to live within the budget for whatever
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healthcare reform plan is adopted. take the prescription drug benefit former president bush signed into law in 2003. two years later, it had doubled the rate of increase in medicare's overall cost and is so popular congress won't trim it. bret: wendell, we will continue to fact check. thank you very much. he has already admitted to an adult are russ affair and now john edwards is ready to come clean on a related scandal, next. can your body wash nourish this deeply? the moisturizer in other body washes sits on top of skin. only new dove has nutriummoisture... which can nourish deep down. new dove body wash with nutriummoisture. superior natural nourishment for your skin.
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bret: former democratic presidential candidate john edwards will reportedly admit he is the father to a child born to his former mistress. a north carolina t.v. station is citing sources from edwards. he confessed last august to having an affair with rielle hunter, but denied being the father of her now 18-month-old daughter. edwards is currently under
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federal investigation into whether he illegally paid hunter with campaign funds to keep her quiet about their affair. sources tell wral that edwards' public admission could become before the end of that investigation. defense secretary robert gates says an upcoming assessment of the afghanistan war from the new u.s. commander there will not, will not include a request for more troops. as preparations for that report continue, marines are putting the squeeze on a taliban pressure point. steve centanni has details. >> for the second day in a row, hundreds of marines bore down on the taliban stronghold of dahaneh in the helmand province. the troops were backed by cobra attack helicopters, firing rockets at taliban positions in the nearby fountains. fox news correspondent greg palkot sent reports from the front line. >> we have been hearing taliban fire all around us coming into contact with the
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marines. you can hear it there right now. these marines are working with another squad, another platoon as they work their way down this village trying to clear this place. the taliban aren't giving up. >> afghan forces are working hand in hand with u.s. troops, conducting door-to-door searches trying to put an afghan face on the offensive as the u.s. does all it can to avoid civilian casualties because the whole idea is to create confidence and security, to encourage save gans to show up and vote in next thursday's election. they hope to unseat karzai and u.s. officials are confident this will be a more open and fair election than the one four years ago. >> it looks like more afghans will be able to to vote than had been the case before the recent deployment of additional u.s. forces. obviously that's an encouraging development. >> the pitched battle continued thursday with the taliban firing rocket-propelled grenades, mortars an heavy machine gunfire at u.s. troops.
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commanders say the taliban knew the u.s. was coming, and while this could open one oasis of calm just before the election, the long-term picture for this evening john, or for afghanistan as a whole, isn't clear at all. >> are we stable there? have we obtained all the objectives in helmand? not yet. >> we are looking at a mixed picture n some parts of afghanistan, the taliban have clearly established a presence. >> will the top commander in afghanistan, general mcchrystal, ask for more troop s? commander gates said they need to assess the triewp build-up underway and said it will not be part of mckiss mccrystal's -- mccrystal's early review due at the end of the month. bret: the remains of the first casualty of the first gulf war are back in the u.s. navy pilot scott speicher was shot down on the first night of the conflict in 1991.
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his remains were found in iraq last month. they were brought to jacksonville naval air station this afternoon. captain speicher will be buried friday. we will take you to one of the country's great state fairs and find out what middle america says about healthcare reform, and making plans for some unhealthy times as school administrators prepare for the h1n1 cyrus.
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bret: first time jobless claims rose by about 4,000 from last week, with the number of people remaining on the rolls falling from 6.4 million to 6.2 million. retails sales fell by a tenth of a a percent in july. stocks were up again. the dow rose 36 1/2.
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the s&p 500 gained under 7. the nasdaq picked up 10 2/3. new numbers on the h1n1 flu are out friday. 6,000 hospitalized cases with 436 deaths in the u.s. and its territories. as children an teenagers return to school, plans are being made about what to do in the event of a major outbreak. correspondent marianne silber has that story from dunn woody, georgia. school is back in session. administrators at this georgia elementary want to keep it that way. they are taking steps now to stop the spread of h1n1 before it forces an unscheduled spring break. >> we are training all the principals to encourage students to wash their hands. we have also installed sanitizers over the summer in every one of our facilities.
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>> walk down any hallway and you will find sanitizing stations where kids in a hurry to get to recess can clean up. inside the nurse's office, a quarantine room will soon have cots for sick children waiting to go home. >> when swine flu cases first started popping up in classrooms last spring, many schools closed, disrupting the learning process and causing major headaches for working parents. closing a school with a suspected outbreak is up to individual districts on a case-by-case base basis. ease sent guidelines encourage administrators to keep schools open. >> with the input and rem dags from the c.d.c. the local school districts will ultimately make the decision whether to close schools. the goal is to keep kids in close. >> in dekalb county and in health departments across the country, plans are in place to immunize as many children as possible as soon as the vaccine becomes available. >> h1n1 has really seemed to target them.
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we're trying to make sure that population is protected. >> school aged children are among the five groups the c.d.c. recommends be vaccinated first. the c.d.c. says the hallways are the best line of defense which is why they're taking precautions to make sure their students stay healthy. bret: federal officials toured a maximum security prison in michigan being considered as a possible home for terror suspects currently held at guantanomo bay, cuba. the facility in standish, 145 miles north of detroit is scheduled to be closed. it is the region's largest employer. some locals favor of move as a way to save jobs. others fear it would make the area a target. robert gibbs says no final decisions have been made. michigan republican congressman pete hoekstra who opposes bringing the detainees to his state has asked for permission to take a delegation of officials and media to the guantanomo prison to observe the suspects and their conditions. an analysis of what president
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obama says and doesn't say turns up interesting patterns. and how do you write an entire book about a series of controversial drawings and not show them. geico's been saving people money on car insurance for over 70 years. and who doesn't want value for their dollar? been true since the day i made my first dollar. where is that dollar? i got it out to show you... uhh... was it rather old and wrinkly? yeah, you saw it?
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ask your doctor if boniva can help you stop losing, and start reversing. (announcer) for a free trial offer, call 1-800-4-boniva.
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bret: and now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine. yale university press is refusing to publish cartoons of the islamic prophet mohammed in a book about the
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controversy surrounding cartoons of the islamic prophet mohammed. "the new york times" says the book chronicled the islamic outcry after 12 caricatures were published by a danish newspaper. those protests left at least 200 people dead. the author of the book is reluctantly accepting the decision, saying muslim leaders thought the incident was misunderstood so the cartoons needed to be reprinted so we could have a discussion about it." one religion scholar says "to not include the actual cartoons is to, me, idiotic. this is an academic book for an academic press, a book about the cartoons with no cartoons. " barack obama is a wartime president but you may not know that listening to his words. a politico newspaper analysis of almost every word spoken in public by the president shows his language belies the fact he is commander in chief for more than 100,000 troops in battle. he has said the words health and economy more than the
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words irak, iran, afghanistan and terrorism combined and the word jobs has been mentioned twice as often as security and four times more often than the word war. a white house spokesman said, quote, nothing is more important to the president than keeping the american people safe." tennis legend billy jean king was among 16 people honored by the president wednesday with the highest civilian award, but before presenting the medal of freedom, the president listed some of king's greatest achievements including 12 grand slam titles. small problem. king actually had 39 gand slam trophies from wimbledon, australia, french and u.s. opens. she won 12 singles, 16 doubles titles an 11 mixed doubles crowns. she told reporters after the event, quote, they didn't get any of my facts right. i was cracking up, not even in the ballpark. i thought it was adorable." a maryland woman whose home was burglarized last week was shocked when she spotted her own belongings at a neighbor's
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yard sale. media reports said the woman called police after spotting her furniture and household items being sold by a man who was wearing one of her shirts. the accused held the yard sale just three houses away from the home he allegedly broke into. he reportedly has admitted to stealing about $25,000 worth of property and faces burglary and theft charges. bold and brassy. now back to healthcare. a lot of people all over the country have made it clear lately they are not in favor of reform proposals on the table being circulated here in washington. carl cameron today talked to a lot of people at the heart of america to find out what they're saying. ♪ i got the healthcare blues ♪ >> the iowa state fair. record breaking boars, award winning cows, and also the
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heated healthcare debate. whether it's the gobble contest or dinosaur-sized drumsticks, there is no shortage of people who think democratic healthcare reform proposals are a turkey. >> i don't think we should be socialized. i think we a republic, not a communist nation. >> the latest poll shows 69% have closely paid attention to town halls nation white. 34% say they are more sympathetic to the protestors an 21 say the protests make them less sympathetic. opposition is rising. the midway menu falls a bit short of heart healthy. someone to wash it down with, a raging red bull smoothie. love it. >> talk about creating a pre-existing equal be it temporary condition. here is to red bull smoothies! >> scooters everywhere. senator claire mccaskill claim too many are paid for by medicare.
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>> there may be a few people that need scooters but a lot of people that are given scooters ought to take a walk. >> reform backers want to put a buzz saw to a system they say is broken. >> in the end we neat coverage for the folks who can't get it now. >> the latest fox news opinion dynamics poll says among reform opponents, 14% say quality would worsen. 11% don't trust the government. 10% say it will raise costs an 8% say healthcare reform will increase the federal deficit but no bill has passed the house or senate yet so nobody knows what is up for consideration. >> everybody is rushing to the bandwagon saying oh, it's going to be this way or that way. it ain't going to be nothing yet. they haven't decided anything. >> that is a smart iowan. in fact, it is going to be three more weeks before congress gets back to washington and can get back to work and with polls beginning to slip and public sentiments seeming to turn more towards the opposition, supporters have all the more reason to worry these next three weeks of the congressional break
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bret: i know the ed bull smoothie was a key element. what about the meat sundae? you talked about that last night. >> before we get to meat sundae, i got to get props to porkchop on a stick. this is the tradition in iowa, pork and beef, but with you in mind, bret, behold the meat sunday! >> bret: oh, my gosh! >> it is beaten up in the heat, because it is like 90 degrees in the heat. that is a meat sundae, and bret, i'm bringing it on the plane tomorrow. i was going to ask if i could put it in the fridge to bring it back to the office for you, but this one has your name on it, buddy. bret: thank you so much, carl. see you then. sheila jackson lee is being criticized for ignoring a questioner at a town hall meeting tuesday in order to talk on a cell phone. a woman who identified herself as a cancer survivor is asking the question here and the congress wol, you see, is busy with a call. several people in the audience jeered jackson lee at this
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point. >> people in the room are upset that shes was taking a phone call and the lady behind me told congresswoman jackson lee that she was being very rude, to which the congress woman snapped back when she walked by that woman, "and by the way, i am not rude." she said she could multi-task. bret: congresswoman jackson lee told fox news that she was taking a return call from the house healthcare hotline with answers to questions about the issue. so is the president losing the public on healthcare reform? the fox all-stars give us their opinions, next. well if you're hurt and can't work it pays you cash... yeah to help with everyday bills like gas, the mortgage... ...and groceries. it's like insurance for daily living. so...what's it called? uhhhhh
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aflaaac!!!! oh yeah! that's it! aflac. we've got you under our wing. a-a-a-aflaaac! - oh, come on. - enough! you get half and you get half. ( chirp ) team three, boathouse? ( chirp ) oh yeah-- his and hers. - ( crowd gasping ) - ( chirp ) van gogh? ( chirp ) even steven. - ( chirp ) mansion. - ( chirp ) good to go. ( grunts ) timber! ( chirp ) boss? what do we do with the shih-tzu? - ( crowd gasps ) - ( chirp ) joint custody.
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prescription drugs may be covered. liberty takes care of all the paperwork with medicare and sends the prescription forms directly to your doctor for approval. then, on your schedule, packs up this box and sends it right to your door with no charge for shipping. and liberty assures you have everything you need to manage your diabetes, including most brand name meters. call now and we'll send you a free meter. plus, a free cookbook when you join. call liberty. they can help you live a better life. call the number on your screen. >> poll something a snapshot in time. -- polling is a snapshot in time. the debate continues. we will see whether numbers move or change as a result of
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the continuing debate. bret: well, here is the latest snapshot from the fox news opinion dynamics poll. there you see healthcare reform legislation, in favor drops 2 points from july. the highest number, 57% in all categories say reduce the deficit first. it breaks down by ideology there. let's bring in our panel. peter marachi, economist from the university of maryland business professor, keer stein powers, columnist with "the new york post" and syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. peter, welcome, first time on the panel. >> thank you. bret: what do you think as the polls show that the debate seems to have shifted, what this means for the white house and where this stands now. >> well, the p president is in a lot of trouble. he hasn't addressed the major problems of healthcare, malpractice insurance being one, high drug costs. he seems to be cutting deals with the principal players but
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not making a lot of headway. citizens suspect this will be very expensive and they will get dumped into national healthcare. bret: is the white house treading water here? are they concerned? >> if they're not concerned, they should be concerned. i think once you have the president having to try to convince you he is not going to kill your grandmother, you're in trouble. that's where he has gotten. i think that they underestimated what was going to happen from the conservative side. it's similar to immigration, frankly, immigration reform where there are real fears out there and people have tapped into them where they are not able to stop immigration reform. now they are doing it through town halls and going out and really making a lot of tubal for the white house. i don't think they were anticipating it. bret: was it a strategic error to talk about the town halls as they did from the podium and how they have handled this up until now? >> well, i think they tried to exploit the fact that there was rowdiness, and i shared
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the view that that would actually hurt the opponents of healthcare reform as presented by the democrats but the polling has shown the opposite. it has shown that the reaction that people see in the town halls has strengthened opposition. that tells you that even though the obama team is very good at street fighting, at one-on-one combat style, which they showed last year, when they're up against the fewer i of ordinary americans, that doesn't work the way it does when you're up against the clintons. >> the usa today poll had 57% saying six out of ten independents that a major fact behind the protests was concerns that average citizens had. that was a mistake democrats made by turning this into something that is it true that the people there are conservatives? probably, but look, i think most americans think it is good when you go out and protest the government and show up and actually care enough. when they protest the war,
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they certainly think it is a good idea. bret: the other question is what the president is saying out on the stump, if you call it the stump. he says he is not going to sign anything that increases the deficit. however, the bills we have on the table so far do just that. >> well, it is certainly going to cost a lot of money. his credibility is hurting. his budget projections assume a 4% growth rate. no private economist would sign on to that. over and over the president acts like he is campaigning. when you are president, people research what you do. the budget office runs the numbers and they don't add up. this president is in a lot of trouble. he wants to spend too much of the peoples' money with too little results. bret: another thing he is saying is about doctors. take a listen to this from the town hall this week. >> if a family care physician works with his patient to help them lose weight, modify diet, monitors whether they're taking their medications in a timely fashion, they might get
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reimbursed a pittance, but if that same diabetic ends up getting their foot amputated, that's $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 immediately the surgeon is reimbursed. why not make sure we're also reimbawrsing the care that prevents the amputation? right? that will save us money. bret: that is not sitting well with the american medical association, a group that the president cites is supporting his healthcare reform. surgeons are not paid $30,000 to $50,000 to amount tate a foot. medicare pays $541 for one of two procedures involving a foot amputation. the american college of surgeons said that remark was ill-informed and dangerous as well as a remark a couple of weeks ago about taking children's tonsils out. charles, what about this, and how much this has hurt him. >> well, when the president is off talking about the fee for an amputation, off by a factor
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of at least 30, he's got trouble, and it makes people worry about all his other so-called facts. remember, he has been selling here a free lunch. he says the way i'm going to solve the problem is prevention. we will put a lot of money in prevention. it will save a lot of money overall. there was a letter from the head of the c.b.o. to a congressman last friday which explicitly looked at prevention issues and said that, in fact, overall, when you pour money into prevention, it increases the cost of medicine, and the reason is you have to screen and treat millions of people who don't end up with that disease, and there is a very small number that are helped. even though it helps the individual, it has been shown that society has been shown in major studies that this prevention is a fantasy. it's a good thing to do but it does not save any money. bret: from the other point of view, if you are in the white house, how do you turn this
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around? >> i think i have said this before, i don't know if they can turn it around, but there are people i talk to who think they k they say, look, all the major players are still at table. you have pharmaceutical companies. you have the a.m.a. and you have them at the table still. you have still the numbers in congress. the a.m.a. is still supporting reform. people who were completely against it before who are now spending money now to try to get this passed. this are a lot of people who think that he can basically ram it through. you know, i just feel like you get one bite of the apple usually, and you know, now they are having to clean up and come back around and i think it remains to be seen what is going to happen. >> peter, do they get a bill in the fall? >> they will get some kind of bill because they won't let their president fail. it may be very scaled back t will be a classic case of elitism overwhelming the will of the people. folks just don't have confidence in this program. it will be a terrible mistake on the part of the democrats
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bret: well, you're looking live there at the white house and they are saying that the recover i act is working again and again. but here is the polls from today. when people are asked with the remaining stimulus money, what would you do to boost the economy, all, 72%, said return the money to taxpayers. the other poll, is the worst over or yet to come? in august, it is over 44%, yet to come, 49%. that has changed significantly. we are back with the panel. first question, peter, is the
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recession over? we talked about this over the past couple of days, and is the stimulus package working? >> well, the job loss data indicates the recession is not over and not likely to be over until the fourth quarter if then. the stimulus package, they have had trouble spending the money. they have $100 billion out there, most to taxpayers in the form of rebates. the balance to state and local governments. the president has saved thousands of jobs he says and those are random numbers. state and local governments added 128,000 jobs. since the stimulus package, they have shed 18,000 jobs, so if they're hiring people under there they're hiding under tombstones. bret: about the recession, the biggest growth sector is the government. >> exactly, and they're having trouble getting money spent. for example, they have $100 billion for infrastructure. they have contracted $1 billion of it. they can't get bulldozers moving in a forward direction. >> i think that is one of the problems with the stimulus
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package like this. there isn't an infrastructure set up to get things moving. that's the problem with this whole idea of shovel-ready projects. it is just a misnomer. they don't really exist. bret: as white house officials continue to say and we saw the vice president say again and again, it is working. christina romer, it is working. >> i think you can talk to other economists who think that it is working and that it is just going to take time. they got the first little batch of money out, and the money is going to start moving faster now that they have more of an infrastructure set up. there is very much of a psychological aspect to this in terms of jobs that this are lots of states, take maryland, for example, they were going to lay off people, but now they're not going to lay them off, because they know they are getting this money, so i think this are a lot of economists who think there was an overreaction. people fired a lot of people that they didn't necessarily need to fire. well, the states aren't having to do that because they know they will be getting this money. bret: if the economy turns around cyclically on its own,
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does the administration get the benefit by saying simply that the recovery act is working? >> it will be of course that the president gets the credit. that's how it works in our politics t makes no sense and he will be king of the world an hailed as not only a messiah but a genius, a double combination. what is happening here is that when you say is it working, what is working is what the fed has done over the last year, which is pump an unbelievable amount of money into the economy and what the bush administration started and the obama administration have continued, which is to bail out the banks and to keep the wall street and credit open and going, and what's happened is the panic is over. the recession isn't over but the panic is. there was a time at the end of last year when people were worried that the dollar and the economy was going to explode, an woe would be hunting and foraging. people were sticking their dollars under mattresses. that is over as a result of
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the fed, paulson and bush and bernanke and obama, and his team. the stimulus is having a negligible effect. in the real world. in the political world, it is an issue out there, because it is the largest spending in the history of the galaxy and that's why everybody will judge it whether it is stimulus or not. if the economy improves, obama will get the credit but i think it is going to prove extremely slow and he is going to be in political trouble until the elections next year. bret: peter, when the first review of the stimulus came out, the administration said over the next 100 days, 750,000 jobs will be saved or created. then they said 150,000 jobs were saved or created. there is 600,000 ap apparently -- we're at day 100 from the first review. that continues to slip. it is impossible to measure saved or created jobs. >> it is absolutely impossible. if you look at the trends in the job data themselves, it
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looks like a recession coming to an end under its own natural process. it is a deep and long recession. it is unlikely that we are going to add through the stimulus package anywhere near the jobs we lost. since 1998, the private sector has failed to create a single job in net effect because of this recession and we're likely a decade away before we catch up again. bret: when people look at the stock market and see it going up, there are companies that have shed jobs an cut their bottom line and so they're doing better. >> exactly. they have to have the bottom line pushed down so far, they can make money in a smaller economy. asia is recovering and a lot of the boost is the banks. the fed loaned them $2 till onat near zero interest rates. any money can make money borrowing at zero and lending at five. bret: stay tuned for another poll that gabbed people's attention this week. .
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bret: finally tonight, we showed you earlier people are polled on just about everything. our friends at the colbert report took notice of one gem, i recently saw an info graphic in the "u.s.a. today" that proves just how selfless we all are. they asked americans what they would be willing to sacrifice to save the environment and the number one answer was their i pods. nation, this is a huge sacrifice. [ laughter ] for most americans, giving up their i pod is like cutting off an arm. an arm that plays music. bret: that's it for "special report" this time. the only place you will get the whole story. thanks for i object violating us into your home tonight. we will see you right back here tomorrow. [captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national con